RAISES OVER $1.1 MILLION AT ANNUAL ART FOR LIFE BENEFIT
2017 ART FOR LIFE, HOSTED BY SOLEDAD O’BRIEN, HONORED SANFORD BIGGERS, STEPHEN G.HILL, ESI EGGLESTON BRACEY, CHUCK D & BOZOMA SAINT JOHN EVENING INLCUDED MUSICAL PERFORMANCES BY CYNTHIA ERIVO, CHUCK D & THE ORIGINALS
NEW YORK (July 17, 2017) – Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation (RPAF) raised over $1.1 million at its annual ART FOR LIFE Benefit on July 15th at Fairview Farms in Bridgehampton, NY. Proceeds from ART FOR LIFE benefit the Foundation’s signature arts education and gallery programs, which have directly served tens of thousands of inner-city youth over the past 20 years.
The private gala, themed “Midnight at the Oasis,” was hosted by Soledad O’Brien. The evening honored Former President Consumer Beauty Division, Coty Inc., Esi Eggleston Bracey; rapper, author and producer, Chuck D; Chief Brand Officer, Uber, Bozoma Saint John; former President of Programming, BET Stephen G. Hill, and 2017 Featured Artist, Sanford Biggers for their support of the arts, career achievements, and overall commitment to our communities.
Russell Simmons hosted a unique live auction, which consisted of selling gold and blue balloons for $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000 each, to support RUSH programs. The experience raised over $150,000 in just 7 minutes.
Guests dined on an all-vegan menu created by Great Performances Chef De Cuisine Mark Russell, which featured “chicken” bites and waffles; torta panzanella with roasted, smoked and marinated vegetables; herbed polenta diamond and pasta “Bolognese”.
After dinner, guests enjoyed a special performance by multiple-award winning artist and actress Cynthia Erivo, who sang “Let it Be”, “Natural Woman”, “I Won’t Complain” and “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.” Chuck D and DJ Lord took the stage in a surprise performance closing with an inspirational performance of “Fight The Power”.
The Originals closed out the evening as guests, including Ming Lee & Aoki Lee Simmons, Lyor Cohen & Xin Li, Sherry Bronfman, Andre Harrell, Kevin Liles, Jason Binn, Stretch Armstrong, D-Nice, DJ M.O.S., DJ Cassidy, Fab Five Freddy, Chloe Flower, Star Jones, Clark Kent, Rich Medina, Elle Varner, Darrelle Revis, Joseph “Jojo” Simmons, Bevy Smith, Tony Touch, Simone & Dorian Missick, Clarissa & Edgar Bronfman, Harvey Spevak and more danced under the stars.
This year’s benefit was supported by silver sponsors Merrill Lynch, UBER and bronze sponsor Coty Inc.; online auction partner CharityBuzz; Art For Life Art Auction partner Artsy, and many more. This year’s media partners include Hamptons magazine and Hamptons.com.
This year’s Art For Life features a coinciding Art For Life online auction via Charitybuzz and includes amazing experiences to bid on inlcluding a meet and greet withKaty Perry at an upcoming show, a Will.i.am tour of his creative studio, tickets to Dave Chappelle’s upcoming Radio City Music Hall residency and more, the auction will close on July 27, 2017. To support and bid, visit charitybuzz.com/artforlife.
About Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation
Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation (RPAF) is dedicated to providing underserved inner city youth with significant exposure to the arts, as well as developing and supporting under-represented artists, curators and audiences.
Rush was founded in 1995 by three brothers: Danny Simmons, visual artist and community builder; media mogul Russell Simmons; and Joseph “Rev. Run” Simmons of the legendary hip-hop group Run-DMC. Their goal was to fill the gap that the disenfranchised and people of color faced in both accessing the arts and exhibition opportunities.
Over the past 21 years with the help of a broad base of friends, collaborators and supporters, Rush has been able to develop its main two program areas – Rush Education art programs for our youth and Rush Arts Galleries supporting and featuring emerging artists nationwide – working together in a seamless way to open up the arts to populations facing hurdles to the joy and benefits of these experiences.
Designed to inspire students, provide positive alternatives to high-risk behaviors and support increased academic performance, Rush Education programs- Rush Little Kids, Rush Kids, Rush Teens and Rush Galleries in Schools– directly serve over 3,500 students annually. In addition, each year through our Rush Arts Galleries- Rush Arts Gallery in Chelsea, Manhattan and Corridor Gallery in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn- exhibit the work of over 100 emerging and community-based artists; welcomes over 12,000 gallery visitors; and provides unique opportunities for young people interested in careers in the arts.
Art saves lives, it is that simple. Rush Philanthropic believes that if you give young people the opportunity to practice and appreciate art — whether poetry, music, dance, or the visual arts — then you will see lives transformed as young people learn to value their own unique voices and visions. It is this type of impact we aspire to see happen and that your support will make possible.
ART FOR LIFE hashtag #ArtForLife